India adds 1.5 GW of Rooftop Solar Capacity in 12 months setting New Record

A new report by consultancy firm Bridge to India found that India added a record 1.5 GW of rooftop solar capacity in the year leading to September 2018, recording a 75 percent increase yoy.

According to Bridge to India’s latest report ‘Indian Solar Rooftop Map’, India added 1,538MW of rooftop solar capacity in the 12-month period up to September 2018. A gargantuan 75 percent increase year-on-year, saw it record the highest capacity addition over a 12 month period.

The rapid increase was mostly forced by the commercial and industrial (C&I) sector which dominated with nearly a 70% share of the market, while residential still continued to struggle, holding just a 9% market share. The report revealed that the market is very crowded with companies with a frequent churn in leading player rankings. In the OPEX segment, Cleantech, CleanMax, and ReNew Power came out on top with a massive 45 percent share between them. Meanwhile, in the Capex segment, the top ten players only have an 18% share between them, led by Tata Power, Mahindra, and Sunsure. While on the inverter side, Chinese players are now responsible for a 43% share of the market and are said to be “growing aggressively”.

The report also found that just 5 states accounted for than half of the market (54%),

  1. Maharashtra – 473MW
  2. Tamil Nadu – 312MW
  3. Karnataka – 272MW
  4. Rajasthan – 270MW
  5. Uttar Pradesh – 223MW

Vinay Rustagi, managing director of Bridge to India, said, “75% market growth in a year plagued by safeguard duty and GST uncertainty is absolutely fantastic. Ongoing fall in module prices should continue to drive growth in the next few years. Rooftop solar has huge growth potential and should be given more policy support particularly when utility-scale solar is increasingly facing acute land and transmission connectivity challenges. Proactive government intervention can help in boosting growth and realising the full potential of this compelling energy source.

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The ‘India Solar Rooftop Map’ revealed that cumulative installations reached 3,399MW by the end of September this year, and are projected to reach 15.3GW by March 2022. Considerably smaller than the planned 40 GW target set by the government for 2022, but still showing signs of progress over previous assessments which predicted far worse.

Last month, Bridge to India’s Solar Compass Q3 2018 revealed that it expects India to deploy just 4.1 GW of solar in the financial year 2018/19, down 55 percent year-on-year, covering only a quarter of the quota set out by the government for each financial year (16 GW) as it seeks to achieve its ambitious targets for 2022.

The rooftop segment, while not exactly making up the difference, will definitely do its bit, as state level policies become friendlier and simpler, along with the continued drop in prices.  In states like Gujarat and Maharashtra, where even residential power costs can nudge upwards of Rs 7 and beyond, rooftop category might be set to take off in a big way .

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Ayush Verma

Ayush Verma

Ayush is a correspondent at iamrenew.com and writes on renewable energy and sustainability. As an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he also works as a staff writer for saurenergy.com.

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